In news that bucks the trend of Sydney’s draconian lockout laws, Chippendale pub The Lansdowne has had its licence extended to 5am. That means punters can enter the pub after 1.30am and keep partying ’til five.
The news comes after freshly released figures show 500,000 fewer young people have visited Sydney each year since the lockout laws were implemented in 2014. Additionally, according to the shadow minister for music and the night-time economy, John Graham, who was citing evidence from the City of Sydney, of the 22 primary-purpose music venues that existed in 2014 in the City of Sydney local government area, only 11 venues remain today.
To mark the occasion, The Lansdowne, in partnership with restaurateur Maurice Terzini (Icebergs, The Dolphin Hotel, Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta) and touring company Picnic, will bring one of LA’s biggest club nights to Sydney.
A Club Called Rhonda is a monthly party founded in 2008 by Gregory Alexander and Loren Granich to encourage inclusivity, open mindedness, gender self-expression and sex-positive affirmative sexuality in a hedonistic environment. It’s since toured cities such as San Francisco, Berlin, London and Mexico City. The party on August 24 will be its first time Down Under.
“I’ve always thought A Club Called Rhonda set out to be more than just a party; instead [it’s] a deeply cultural, entirely inclusive community with huge amounts of passion injected into their events,” Carly Roberts, founder of Picnic, tells Broadsheet. “[There’s] a passion for welcoming everyone: the club kids, the queer community, the dancers, the music nerds, the fashion crew; a passion for sound, lighting and decor … and a passion for good music – from across all the cool genres.
“[It’s] a riot of style and substance that I’ve been inspired by for a long time … it seems their purpose is to inspire and create a safe, expressive spaces – with some pretty epic attention to detail.”
The party at The Lansdowne will happen across two floors, with plenty of lasers, glitter and DJ sets from yet-to-be-announced local and international DJs. Terzini says A Club Called Rhonda Sydney was born out of a curation for inner-west cultural hub Carriageworks, where he was going to show off the best of LA’s party, bar and art scenes.
“Rhonda for me represented an idea of modern-day clubbing, a club where music combine[s] with culture, art, community … a club that managed to flourish even against the rigid LA alcohol laws [there alcohol sales are prohibited from 2am to 6am]. I feel like it is a source of inspiration for us here,” Terzini tells Broadsheet.
Continuing with the theme, he’s bringing out Yael Vengroff, who has recently been named American bartender of the year for her work at Spare Room in the Roosevelt Hotel, LA. She’ll be putting together a drinks list for a special aperitivo hour from 9pm to 10.30pm on the night.
“Sydney has one of the best underground music and party scenes in the world,” says Roberts. “[It] may be smaller than cities with less restrictions – or population differences, or proximity to the rest of the world – but those in the trenches making it happen are constantly raising the bar in Sydney even if it’s all stacked against us. There are loads of queer, alternative, left-of-centre dance-music promoters putting on world-class events; the emphasis on inclusion, quality and production is at an all time high. A Club Called Rhonda will be a reminder of why having fun is good for everyone.”
The Dolphin Hotel will keep the fun going the next day with Vengroff hosting an afterparty from 7pm to 9pm.
A Club Called Rhonda will run from 9pm on August 24 to 5am August 25 at The Lansdowne, Chippendale. Tickets are now on sale here.